By SIRIVISH TOOMGUM
The study found that the communication market in 2018 was worth Bt613.920 billion, an increase of 2.23 per cent from 2017, CIRI director Nittaya Soonthornsiripong said yesterday. The National Broadcasting and Telecommuni-cations Commission (NBTC) hired CIRI to conduct the study.
Factors that support the communication market’s growth in recent years included the government policy to promote Thailand as a digital society, and efforts to provide people with equal access to communication services.
The change in consumer behaviour as people turn increasingly to online media in both their work and home lives is another driving force in the industry’s growth.
Not all aspects of the communication market are thriving, however, with the economic slowdown of recent years factoring into a decrease in the communication equipment market. It was worth Bt256.914 billion in 2018, a decrease of 1.70 per cent from 2017.
That decline would have been larger without the government sector’s investment in promoting equality of access to communication services, such as through the Village Broadband Internet (Net Pracharat) project.
The CIRI has forecast a rise in investment in the communications equipment market in 2019 of approximately Bt263.444 billion, an increase of 2.54 per cent from 2018.
That increase will largely be driven by government investment in various projects. The private sector is also continuing its investment to boost the efficiency of internet speed and bandwidth, and to provide data communication services (such as Data Centre, Could Service), which have witnessed an increasing demand especially from the business sector.
From the consumer side, behaviour changes to socialise via mobile phones has induced the growth of smartphone demand.
The market value of communications services is expected to reach Bt366.229 billion this year, up 2.58 per cent year on year.
The value of the communications service market last year was Bt357.006 billion, up 5.26 per cent from 2017, due to the sharp increase in internet use for communication, entertainment, as well as for business activities and online transactions.
CIRI’s survey found that the number of internet users in Thailand has increased steadily, both in fixed broadband and mobile broadband markets.
The number of internet users in 2018 reached 47.45 million people, an increase of 5.01 per cent from 2017. It is predicted to again increase this year to 50.08 million people, up 5.55 per cent from 2018.